Could The Walt Disney Company get its first female CEO after Bob Iger’s final departure? It looks more and more likely to be the case, as a new report shows the current Chief Financial Officer, Christine McCarthy, as the leading contender for the position.
“Christine has always been a force to be reckoned with, but you have to put her on a list of top five possibilities after the last few weeks,” a Disney insider told Deadline.
First taking the CFO position in 2015, Ms. McCarthy became the face of what has been described as a corporate coup d’etat that saw the sudden removal of CEO Bob Chapek and the reinstatement of Mr. Iger, as it was she who went to Chairman Susan Arnold and the Disney board of directors. The former executive chairman has already spoken to her necessity as he works to restructure Disney Media and Entertainment Division.
Ms. McCarthy has also found favor with financial analysts and fund managers who continue to refer to her as being “very honest,” “very capable,” and “a straight shooter.” Insiders described her as “the kind of person who really has the best interests of the company at heart,” as well as “incredibly smart.” They also credit her for being a great mentor to other women at the company.
One fan commented, “She really shined when the pandemic hit. She did exactly what the CFO should do. She lined up enough cash for one to two years of no revenue. She put together a huge bundle of cash at reasonable rates very quickly to protect the company.”
One Wall Street analyst said, “In the 35 years I’ve been doing this, I never saw a CFO go around a CEO.”
But, the speculators still see immense competition for the proverbial captain’s chair both inside and outside the company. Former Disney executives such as Tom Staggs and Keven Mayer are already on the list.
Bob Iger will continue to hold the position of CEO until the end of 2024. Only time will tell at this point if we will see Christine McCarthy make a truly unprecedented transition.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney news and stories as more developments come to light.